Avoidance Tactics

Key Themes

  • Locating ground services
  • Airports as unique environments l Risk analysis
  • Intervention

Target Audience

Operatives and supervisors working in areas where there is a high risk of service strikes, particularly at airports.


At a major airport a subcontracting firm is engaged in drilling trial holes. Unfortunately neither the operative or his supervisor appreciates the importance of following the procedures. Below the surface lie gas pipes, pressur-ised fuel pipes, low and high voltage cables, telecoms services and fibre optics. The estimated cost of closing the airport due to a service strike is around £6million. The cost to the individuals of hitting a high-tension cable, however, could be much greater.


Neil: What are you doing here? Exactly.

Tony: I’m drilling some trial holes.

Neil: Why?

Tony: I was told to. It’s on the DAB sheet.

Neil: But what is the purpose of the job?

Tony: Er…find out what’s underneath.

Neil: Do you know what a PAS 128 is?

Tony: Is it an aircraft?

Neil: No it’s not a bloody aircraft!

Tony: Er….is it…..? (HE THINKS HARD)

Neil: Tell me how you surveyed this area.

Tony: I used the CAT.

Neil: And how effective is that through concrete?

Tony: Well it didn’t show up any cables or services.

Neil: Shouldn’t you be using GPR?

Tony: Er…Brian didn’t mention that..

Neil: Didn’t he?

Tony: But we did a proper toolbox talk and everything.

Neil: Do not do any more here – and especially no drilling.

Tony: I haven’t really started…

Neil: Any more lip and you won’t be working on this airport again. I’ll be back.